Sunday, August 30, 2009

Night Passage

I liked this movie a lot. It stars Audie Murphy and James Stewart, and until I started watching Westerns, I had no idea that Stewart starred in so many of them. Night Passage, from 1957 is about two brothers on opposite sides of the law.

Murphy is the bad guy, but he's a good bad guy, and he plays that kind of role really well. Stewart is the good guy and I like his characterization, too. The connection to ASJ wasn't the actors but rather the setting--part of it takes place in a town called...Junction City! And in the beginning of the film, just after the opening credits, a man dances a jig--a real jig, not like the one Kid Curry attempted in Going, Going, Gone.

This was a Universal picture and I have a sneaking suspicion that Roy Huggins was familiar with it. I really wonder how much he was influenced by these movie Westerns when he worked on ASJ.

As for the plot of Night Passage, it involves Stewart trying to guard a mining payroll being transported by railroad and Murphy trying to rob the train it's on. It's a fast-moving, short movie with lots of action and also good dialog.